I have to take some small pride in the fact that I was never quite gullible enough to be taken in by ubiquitous comic book adverting that promised the likes of x-ray glasses and full-scale toy submarines but instead delivered cheap gags and flimsy cardboard mock-ups.
Case in point: a Color Television Set featuring Disney-related content. And for the amazing price of $1.00. Sure, its easy to dismiss this now as gimmicky hokum, but filtered through the naive mental lens of a baby boomer kid in the mid-1950s--"A COLOR TELEVISION SET WITH DISNEY CARTOONS AND ZORRO?!?! DAD! I NEED A DOLLAR--QUICK!"
The Lido Toy Company produced countless low-end plastic toys out of their Bronx headquarters throughout the mid-20th century and the COLOR TELEVISION SET is a shining example of their shrewd flair for enticing young customers to buy, well, junk. The actual product here was a tiny plastic box into which you fed what were essentially paper comics on small rolls. Each set came with eight different rolls of "color film" which were actually a series of rather primitive pictures not even up to comic book standards. You advanced through each roll using the dials on the side of the "television." The company acquired many different licenses for this particular item, but knew they had a hot commodity with the Disneyland and Zorro TV shows.
A half a century later in this wonderful Jetsons-future that we live in, kids can watch television shows on devices every bit as small as those original Lido plastic boxes. The financial battle cry however, has been been adjusted up somewhat:
"DAD! I NEED $200 FOR AN IPOD--QUICK!"